The first case of an alien abduction was noted in a Stockton, California newspaper, Daily Mail, on November 27, 1896. In the article, Colonel H.G. Shaw reported that he and a friend were approached by three slender creatures who were humanoid and covered in fine, downy hair. The creatures harassed them and ultimately tried to kidnap them.
But it wasn’t until the 1950s that reports of alien abductions met the mainstream media again. First, in a 1953 article by Leroy Thorpe in the October issue of Man to Man Magazine, and then in Flying Saucers Uncensored, a 1955 publication claiming two men were contacted and subsequently abducted by aliens after their mysterious disappearance.
In general, the 1950s marked a pivotal turn in the public’s awareness of alien abductions. Two cases in particular, Antônio Villas Boas in the mid-1950s, and Betty and Barney Hill in 1961, raised the most attention, though in both cases it took years to garner widespread publicity.
For decades, stories of aliens and alien abductions were dismissed. They were sensationalized stories, with critics widely lambasting them for being explainable situations taken out of context or outright made up for attention. But now we know that perhaps the truth is more complicated. While the US government has yet to publicly admit the presence of alien life or extraterrestrial contact, they recently released potential UFO sightings spanning decades and held a Congressional hearing in which credible public testimony was given.
The truth on aliens remains elusive, but more evidence is trending towards a reality that may quickly include lifeforms not of this world. And maybe, some of the stories we’ve heard are truer than we realized.
Just in case, we gathered 10 terrifying movies on alien abductions to feed your extraterrestrial obsession. And you never know—it just might save your life.
The Fourth Kind (2009)
Since the 1960s, there are more missing people in Nome, Alaska than in any other town in the state. And one psychologist may be about to discover why. As she treats one of her patients, she stumbles on evidence that he—and other patients—may have been abducted by aliens.
Fire in the Sky (1993)
On November 5, 1975, Travis Walton and his coworkers see an eerie light in the woods on their way home from work. Curious to get a closer look at the UFO, Travis gets out of the truck, only to be struck by light and taken. Five days later, he reappears, dehydrated, traumatized, and claiming he was abducted by aliens. This is his story.
Dark Skies (2013)
The Barrett family lives a quiet suburban life. Their two sons, Jesse and Sammy, are happy, well-adjusted kids. Until a series of strange events begin to take place. They believe they’re being targeted by alien beings known as “the Greys”. Even worse, they believe these beings have already chosen Sammy as their target.
Alien Abduction (2014)
Riley Morris kept a video journal of his family’s camping trip in Brown Mountain, North Carolina. After strange lights wake the family, they find themselves in a race for their lives as aliens abduct them one by one. And Riley’s camera recorded it all.
Under the Skin (2013)
A mysterious young woman wanders through Northern Scotland, seducing lonely young men. She’s a strange amalgamation of features. Innocent but deadly. Grotesque but irresistible. While it’s obvious she is strange, it’s less obvious who, or what, she actually is. Each man is chosen for specific reasons. And once she takes them, they’re never heard from again.
Holes in the Sky (2021)
In 2013, in rural Illinois, Sean Miller was taken from his car and disappeared for four days. Seven years later, a documentary film crew traveled to his home to discover the truth. Through documentary footage, cell phone records, and a 911 call, they discover the horrifying truth. But the answers might leave you with more questions.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
After Roy Neary sees an unidentified flying object, he’s left with strange burns from the bright lights. He expects his injuries to be proof of his encounter. But he’s met with disbelief. He sets off on a cross-country journey to find proof that what he saw was real.
Fried Barry (2020)
Barry is not a nice guy. He’s addicted to drugs, abuses his wife, and frequently goes on benders. Until one night, he’s abducted by aliens—and one takes over his body. What follows is a drug-fueled, violent spree through the streets of Cape Town, as one alien sees exactly how weird, wild, and wonderful humanity can be.
Fifty strangers wake up in a dark room. Every two minutes, someone dies. Every time someone tries to leave, someone dies. But they can decide who that person will be. As factions form and alliances are made, the only question remaining is who—or what—is behind this violent experiment.
When on a family vacation in a remote area, Whitley Strieber is abducted by aliens. Except no one believes him. Plagued by nightmares and convinced someone is watching him, his family urges him to get help. But instead of helping him overcome his fears, it might only convince him how right those fears are.